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Dated 9 March 2008: El Cazador de la Bruja

Madlax and Noir references in El Cazador de la Bruja
Madlax and Noir references in El Cazador de la Bruja.

I've started watching El Cazador de la Bruja to round out the Bee Train girls-with-guns trilogy. It has obvious ties to Noir and Madlax, particularly because it compels suspension of disbelief in the viewer.

Nadie hitchhikes
Nadie tries to hitch a ride.

In that respect, it's not as outrageous as Madlax, but I do have trouble believing Nadie could have so little success as a hitchhiker. Who cares if she's got a gun?

Dated 2 April 2008: El Cazador de la Bruja needs more tacos and Girls Gone Mining

Nadie
The "TACOS, TACOS, TACOS" song is the best part of El Cazador de la Bruja.

I like El Cazador de la Bruja the least of the three Bee Train "girls with guns" shows. It's too damn dull. First of all, Ellis takes entirely too long to develop a personality, such as it is. Margaret was spacey in Madlax, but I didn't hate her for it. Kirika was quiet in Noir, but I loved her for it. Ellis is spacey and quiet, but I don't care about her at all.

L.A.
Ellis setting L.A.'s crotch on fire? An under-explored allegory.

Ellis isn't even the worst character in El Cazador de la Bruja. That dubious honor goes to L.A. I have no interest in L.A. besides wishing he would start talking like a normal person. Additionally, Lirio contributes nothing to El Cazador de la Bruja at all aside from making me worry that Gendo Eastwood is a child molester.

Ricardo
It's because of your 'stache, Ricardo.

I did like the winks and nods in El Cazador de la Bruja to its predecessors Noir (which I love beyond reason) and Madlax (of which I'm ambivalent). I noticed Kuwashima Houko and Mitsuishi Kotono's cameos immediately. Surprisingly, I also noticed Kobayashi Sanae's, even though I don't know her voice well.

Iris
El Cazador de la Bruja should have been about mining instead of witches.

Sadly, mentions of Noir and Madlax also remind me how much better the music is in those two series than in El Cazador de la Bruja. This is not Kajiura Yuki's best work by any means. And as much as I like Savage Genius, even the OP doesn't work for me. The ED is good, though. I attribute that to Nanri Yuuka's singing.

L.A.
L.A. eating Ellis' taco? Also an allegory.

The supernatural elements in the Bee Train "girls with guns" oeuvre grow more overt with each installment. Years ago, I observed, "Kirika isn't a ninja; she's a witch." But everything Kirika does is theoretically possible within the liberal rules of anime physics. She is Noir, after all. Madlax has supernatural mumbo jumbo, but remains vague about it long enough to keep things interesting. El Cazador de la Bruja is about witches with honest-to-God magic powers, but they're dull witches with boring powers. [Spoilers: Ellis jumps high.] Maybe Bee Train will make a fourth girls-with-guns series—this time about mahou shoujo with pink Uzis.

Dated 11 August 2009: Phantom ~Requiem for the Cazador de la Bruja~

MEXICO, BABY!
MEXICO, BABY!

Not to make light of Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ which, in addition to being a serious show, is honest to God the best show airing right now, but I hope Bee Train works in an El Cazador de la Bruja reference during the upcoming Mexico arc. C'mon, you know you want to see Zwei singing the "Tacos, Tacos, Tacos" Amigos Tacos jingle.

Dated 4 June 2015: Girls-with-guns trilogy re-watching project complete, or, Bee Train be the bee trainiest

Noir discs and merchandise
Noir DVDs and Blu-rays. Also pictured: Some random
swag that RightStuf was trying to unload.

I fuckin' love Noir. You'll know this if you've read some of my old ass blog posts on the series—ones I've been meaning to import into WordPress for like, years. You'll also know this if you follow me on The Twitter, as I recently completed my Bee Train girls-with-guns trilogy re-watching project. This was inspired by my acquisition of Noir Blu-rays which, conveniently, are a Hell of a bargain. I also had Madlax and El Cazador de la Bruja DVDs which I had previously purchased but never got around to watching. As you can see from the picture above, I already had the Noir DVD box set (which came with a Kirika t-shirt), but the Blu-rays are still a great deal even for fans who already have the DVDs.

Madlax and El Cazador de la Bruja DVDs
I probably should have used a picture of Elenore here instead.

I've already re-watched Noir at least twice in the past 12 years or so, but this was my first time re-watching Madlax and El Cazador de la Bruja. Noir holds up if you're already okay with the incredible feats they pull off. For example, basically every shot Kirika ever fires results in an instant kill. She's shooting .380 ACP ball ammo for crying out loud. Of course, considering some of the feats she accomplishes during the course of the show, I'm reasonably certain Kirika could find a way to instantaneously kill a room full of Soldats flunkies using a package of Q-Tips. Neither Madlax nor El Cazador de la Bruja are quite as good as I remember though, and I didn't think they were that great to begin with. Madlax at least benefits from one of best anime maids of all time, but El Cazador is sort of dreadful to marathon.